Higüey, Dominican Republic

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Higüey, Dominican Republic

Region: La Altagracia

Geographic Coordinates: 18.616700, -68.700000
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 35.0°C (77°F to 95°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.
Population: 251243
Language: Spanish

Higüey is situated in the eastern region of the Dominican Republic, Approximately 45 miles away from Punta Cana. This city is famous for its cultural heritage and rich history, As well as its picturesque natural surroundings. One of the most significant religious sites in the country, Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, Is located in Higüey. Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia is a Catholic church dedicated to Our Lady of Altagracia, Who is considered to be the patron saint of the Dominican Republic.

It was constructed in 1971 and has become a popular destination among tourists and locals alike. The basilica houses a statue of Our Lady of Altagracia that dates back to the 16th century. Apart from its religious importance, Higüey also provides an opportunity for visitors to experience traditional Dominican culture. La Otra Banda neighborhood on Higüey’s outskirts offers artisans creating traditional crafts such as pottery and weaving. Parque Nacional del Este (East National Park) is another must-visit attraction in Higüey that covers over 300 square kilometers area with pristine beaches, Coral reefs, Mangrove swamps, And tropical forests.

Visitors can hike through trails that wind through these diverse ecosystems or take a boat tour along the coast. For history enthusiasts out there, Several museums are worth visiting in Higüey like Museo Arqueológico Regional Altos de Chavón featuring exhibits on pre-Columbian Taino culture while Museo Indígena Caño Hondo showcases artifacts from indigenous peoples who lived here before European colonization. one should not miss trying local cuisine when visiting Higüey; it’s known for its delicious seafood dishes like fresh fish and lobster.

Other popular Dominican dishes such as mofongo (a mashed plantain dish) and sancocho (a hearty stew) can also be found in Higüey’s many restaurants. Higüey offers a fascinating experience to its visitors by showcasing the Dominican Republic’s rich culture and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in religious sites, Traditional crafts, Or outdoor adventures, This vibrant city has something for everyone.

Important Landmarks

  1. Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia
  2. Higüey Municipal Market
  3. San Dionisio Church
  4. La Otra Banda Park
  5. Parque Nacional del Este (National Park of the East)
  6. Punta Cana Resort and Club
  7. Macao Beach
  8. Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve
  9. Altos de Chavón Cultural Center
  10. Scape Park at Cap Cana

Primary Industries

  • The major industries and businesses in Higüey, Dominican Republic include:
    1. Tourism
      • The city is known for its beautiful beaches and resorts which attract a large number of tourists every year.
    2. Agriculture
      • The agricultural sector produces crops such as sugarcane, coffee, and tobacco.
    3. Construction
      • Construction is also a significant industry due to the growth of the city’s infrastructure and real estate market.
    4. Manufacturing
      • The manufacturing industry includes products such as textiles, furniture, and food processing.

    Noteable History

    1. The founding of the town in 1502 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León.
    2. The construction of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, a Catholic basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Altagracia, the patron saint of the Dominican Republic.
    3. The Battle of Higüey in 1804, where Haitian troops led by Jean-Jacques Dessalines defeated Spanish forces.
    4. The birthplace of former Dominican President Joaquín Balaguer, who served three non-consecutive terms as president from 1960-1996.
    5. The location of several important sugar mills during the colonial period and early 20th century.
    6. A center for traditional Dominican music and dance, including merengue and bachata.
    7. A popular tourist destination due to its proximity to Punta Cana and other beach resorts along the eastern coast of the island.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia (Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia)
    2. Museo y Centro Cultural San Dionisio (San Dionisio Museum and Cultural Center)
    3. Parque Nacional del Este (East National Park)
    4. Casa-Museo Ponce de León (Ponce de Leon House-Museum)
    5. El Obelisco (The Obelisk)
    6. Mercado Municipal Higüeyano (Higuey Municipal Market)
    7. Catedral San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist Cathedral)
    8. Parque Central Higüeyano (Higuey Central Park)

    Sports Teams

    1. Higüey, Dominican Republic is known for its sports teams
    2. The city has two famous baseball teams:
      • Tigres del Licey del Este
        • Founded in 2006
        • Has won various championships in the Dominican Professional Baseball League
      • Leones del Este
        • Founded in 1983
        • Has also had success in the league, winning multiple championships
    3. Other sports teams in Higüey include:
      • Basketball teams like Los Cocolos de Higuey
      • Volleyball teams like Las Panteras de Higuey
      • However, these teams do not have as long of a history or as much success as the baseball teams

    Cultural Events

    1. Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia: This is the biggest and most important festival in Higüey. It is held in January every year to honor the patron saint of the Dominican Republic.
    2. Carnival: Held in February or March, this lively event features colorful parades, music, dancing, and costumes.
    3. Fiestas Patronales de San Dionisio: Celebrated in October, this festival honors Saint Dionysius with a range of cultural activities including music, dance performances, and traditional food.
    4. Festival del Merengue: This annual event celebrates the national dance of the Dominican Republic with concerts by famous merengue artists from around the country.
    5. Semana Santa (Holy Week): A religious festival celebrated throughout the country that includes processions and reenactments depicting events leading up to Easter Sunday.
    6. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead): Celebrated on November 1st and 2nd each year, this holiday honors deceased loved ones with offerings of food and flowers at their gravesites.
    7. Feria Ganadera y Agroindustrial de Higüey: A livestock fair held annually showcasing local agricultural products such as coffee beans, fruits, vegetables as well as livestock competitions.


    • La Casita de Yeya – a family-owned restaurant serving traditional Dominican dishes such as sancocho, mofongo, and chicharrón.
    • El Fogon de la Abuela – another family-owned restaurant known for its delicious roasted pork, rice and beans, and fried plantains.
    • Restaurante La Cava – a fine dining establishment that offers a fusion of international and Dominican cuisine with an extensive wine list.
    • Pica Pollo El Morenito – a popular fast-food chain that specializes in fried chicken with sides like tostones (fried plantains) or yuca fries.
    • Heladería Bon Ice Cream – a local ice cream shop that serves unique flavors like passion fruit or coconut alongside classic options like chocolate and vanilla.
    • Cafeteria Mi Tierra – a casual eatery where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch with typical Dominican dishes such as empanadas, pastelitos, or mangú (mashed plantains).
    • Barra Payan – a bakery famous for its freshly baked bread and pastries such as bizcochos (sponge cakes), croissants, and turnovers filled with guava paste or cheese.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Parque de la Altagracia is a popular park that features a statue of the Virgin Mary, playgrounds, and walking paths.
      2. Parque Nacional del Este is a nature reserve with hiking trails, beaches, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
      3. Plaza San Dionisio is a central square in Higüey with statues and fountains.
      4. Playa Bavaro is a beautiful beach with white sands and clear blue waters for swimming and sunbathing.
      5. Casa Museo de Ponce de León is a museum dedicated to the life of Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who discovered Florida in 1513.
      6. Zona Colonial de Higüey is an area of historic buildings dating back to the colonial era of the Dominican Republic.
      7. Club Náutico Punta Cana is a marina that offers boating excursions, fishing trips, and other water sports activities.
      8. Laguna Limon is an eco-tourism destination where visitors can hike through lush tropical rainforests to reach stunning waterfalls that cascade into crystal-clear pools below.


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